Al-Ahram building in downtown Cairo (Photo:Ahram)
Egypt’s top prosecutor Nabil Sadek has referred four former CEOs of the state-owned Al-Ahram press and publishing organization to criminal court on charges related to the “Ahram Gifts” case, MENA news agency reported on Monday.
The former CEOs accused in the case are Ibrahim Nafie, Salah El-Gahmry, Morsi Atallah, and Abbel-Moniem Said, who held the post consecutively.
The prosecution in the case has charged the defendants with squandering public funds and violating the organization's budget rules and regulations.
Prosecutors say gifts worth EGP 268 million were given to officials in the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak, according to investigations.
El-Gahmry was originally accused in the case, but he died in 2014. However, his involvement is still being investigated in order to help recoup any funds that he was involved in squandering. According to a recent ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court, the heirs of a deceased defendant should return any funds in the case of a conviction.
The Ahram gifts case was originally launched in 2011 and included 300 defendants, of which 278 were acquitted.
Mubarak is among the high-ranking former officials charged with illegally receiving gifts from the Al-Ahram organization.
Investigations into his part in the affair were shelved following a court ruling. However, in March, Egypt's Criminal Court accepted an appeal by prosecutors against that ruling, meaning that the case can now proceed.
In January 2013, Mubarak paid EGP 18 million (approximately $1 million) in compensation for gifts that he had received, along with members of his immediate family, from the Al-Ahram organisation.
Mubarak's family also reimbursed state-owned newspaper Al-Gomhoreya with EGP 1.4 million for gifts received from the publication.